We are all convinced of the benefits of using landscape mulch. There are numerous reasons to choose to mulch flower beds and landscaped areas of homes and property. The question of the day (well, maybe the question of the year) is should I use bagged mulch or bulk mulch? Which type of mulch is best to use? "I see bagged mulch around in stores and at gas stations, and I see bulk mulch at these mom & pop locations on the side of the road. How do I know if bulk mulch is better than bagged? Or vice-versa?" The benefits of using bulk mulch instead of bagged mulch vary depending on who you ask, but we can put the hard facts on 5 reasons why bulk mulch is better than bagged mulch.
1. The first reason that bulk mulch is better than bagged mulch is the price. You do the math. Or better yet, we'll help you do the math. At Lowe's, a 2 cubic foot bag of Scott's bark mulch is around $4.97, not including sales tax. You need approximately 13 1/2 bags (at 2 cubic feet per bag) of mulch to equal one yard of bulk mulch. Landscape supply stores typically sell bulk mulch for around $30 - $35 per yard. If you bought 14 bags (I doubt Lowe's would be willing to sell you 1/2 a bag of mulch) of the bagged product, that would cost you $69.58. That is almost double the cost of bulk mulch!! Now, I don't know about you, but that is a very compelling reason (alone) to use bulk mulch instead of bagged mulch.
2. The second reason why bulk mulch is better than bagged mulch is because  

of the quality of the product you are getting. Now, some vendors may try to convince you that the bagged product is of higher quality than if you were to buy in bulk. This is just not true. Think about it: when you pull up to a bulk mulch pile, you can clearly see the product you are purchasing. The mulch in the bag could be moldy, wet, big or small, or not the exact color you were hoping for... you don't know... because you can't see it. Vendors can typically get away with putting a lower quality of wood product in a bag. They think they can fool the consumer by having a low quality product in a pretty package.
3. The third reason why bulk mulch is better than bagged mulch is because there is less trash when you use bulk mulch. Bulk mulch is more environmentally friendly. If your landscaping area to be covered needs 10 yards of mulch, that is 140 bags!! What are you going to do with all those bags of plastic blowing around in your yard? It may not seem like a big deal, but when you are physically having to cut open the heavy plastic, and dispose of those bags as you are trying to put out the mulch, the multitude of bags really will get in the way. Bulk mulch is a lot better for the environment in this way. It is more natural because there is less processing involved.
4. Applying mulch from a bulk pile is easier than applying mulch using bags. By using a 5 gallon bucket to scoop bulk mulch from a bulk pile, you can control the uniformity and depth of the mulch a lot better than dumping from a bag. By applying the mulch from a bulk pile, you get your hands in there and begin to get in a grove of spreading the mulch to the depth you want instead of having random depths from opening bags and dumping as you go.
5. Bulk mulch usually helps your local economy and small business sector. The mom & pop stores that offer bulk mulch can be counted on to give you that service with a smile that is missing from the big bulk retailers now-a-days. The local bulk mulch retailers may sometimes even set up your payments for the mulch on terms, allowing you to pay for 1/2 now and 1/2 later... or whatever terms they prefer. These guys know more about where the product is coming from, and sometimes can get a guarantee on quality if something were to go awry with the bulk product you purchased from them. Some people say that shopping locally keeps our national democracy going. Also, by price shopping and walking in the store face to fact, you may even be able to negotiate yourself a better price than you got the first time around.

Bulk mulch is certainly the way to go when you know you want to use landscape mulch, but you are having trouble deciding if you should use mulch in a bag or bulk mulch. Remember, BULK IS BEST!


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